By Jason Zaugg,
KLA Public Information Director
KOSCIUSKO COUNTY — Kosciusko Leadership Academy recently met at the CE National Russell Center. Hosted by Kosciusko Community Hospital, the cadets learned about healthcare in Kosciusko County.
Joy Lohse, Director of Marketing and Public Relations for KCH spoke on the current landscape of healthcare in the county. Lohse addressed the uniqueness of having such a wide scope of services available from the hospital in a community of our size. KCH has had a presence in the community since its inception in 1976. Lohse said the 72 bed hospital has a comprehensive range of family practice, specialists, and specialty care services. One highlight that she mentioned was the recent addition of the $4.2 million TrueBeam linear accelerator at the KCH Cancer Center, which will enable the physicians at the center to more accurately and effectively treat tumors with radiotherapy. Lohse highlighted the community outreach and impact of KCH, including 172,937 total patient visits and an economic impact on the local economy of $61.5 million in 2015.
Scott Sigerfoos, EMS Director for Lutheran EMS Kosciusko spoke on the history of EMS services in Kosciusko County. The EMS service in the county began with Multi Township EMS in 1977, with over 1,800 calls in its first year. Sigerfoos spoke of the continued growth of the service through the years, and its transition into the Lutheran Health Network family in 2015. Compared to its inception, Lutheran EMS Kosciusko had over 6,400 calls in 2016. Sigerfoos highlighted the scope of care provided by the service, and made a point to discuss the One Heart Foundation, which is geared towards local CPR education. Sigerfoos said that one of the areas that Lutheran EMS Kosciusko is the most proud of is their cardiac arrest save rate. According to Sigerfoos, their rate of regaining a pulse for a cardiac arrest patient is 44 percent, while the national average is just 10 percent.
Kurt Carlson, CEO of The Bowen Center spoke about the history of mental health nationally, and specifically the state of mental health services in the county. Founded in 1961, The Bowen Center has provided services to students in area schools, children and families, substance addicted individuals, those suffering from depression and anxiety, autistic individuals and much more. Carlson said he is extremely proud of Bowen’s work with opioid addicted pregnant women. Carlson highlighted the state of mental health nationally, and spoke of the challenges facing providers with managed care, reduced payer mix, and recruiting challenges. He stated that at a time when most providers have reduced services, Bowen continues to grow and expand. Carlson also shared many of the outreach efforts Bowen has championed in the communities they serve, including their work with Enchanted Hills in Cromwell.
The next KLA session will be held at Zimmer Biomet, where cadets will learn about planning for the future of Kosciusko County.
KLA is a not for profit organization devoted to serving Kosciusko County by encouraging leaders and future leaders to dream and create a better community through white paper projects.